Doris Duke Charitable Foundation International Clinical Research Fellowship

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) International Clinical Research Fellowship program for medical students is a one-year mentored clinical research opportunity designed to span a broad range of research extending from bench laboratory science to clinical and translational science, epidemiology and outcomes research. We define clinical and translational research as research designed to address a question of clinical importance. The program is designed to be flexible and will be tailored to meet the needs of each student.

UCSF offers excellent resources for student researchers:

  • Medical centers that serve different segments of the San Francisco Bay Area population
  • Over 60 organized research units (ORUs) centered on specific diseases and populations; access to a wide variety of local, state-wide and national databases and research cohorts
  • Excellent graduate programs in basic research

Program Structure

The International DDCF program is structured to support each fellow’s individual goals and needs for research career development. Fellows are required to attend a one week training at the NIH in early July, and then either take courses at UCSF or take other tailored experiences over the summer, before leaving for their international site. Students are required to take a UCSF online Global Health course, as well as courses around research issues or skills, with input and approval from their mentors and the program directors. Some examples of courses available at UCSF include:

During the last two months of the program, students will begin preparing a written report and oral presentation of their work. Final oral presentations are required to be given at a national DDCF meeting usually in early June. There is also an option to present at the UCSF student research Symposium, and dissemination at academic or other scholarly conferences or venues is encouraged.

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Research Opportunities

UCSF has a wealth of international research opportunities around the globe. Applicants are encouraged to research potential projects and mentors by searching the UCSF Global Research Projects Interactive Map. The DDCF ICRF at UCSF has also developed a cadre of key mentors over the years who have established research programs for medical students to participate in:

Applicants should email the mentor directly to discuss the project further.


An annual stipend of $29,000 is provided to each DDCF/CRF fellow. In addition, funds are available to support research and travel.

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Application Process

Please complete the three following application components. Your application is not complete until all three components have been submitted.

A. Doris Duke Application Requirements:

Application opens on November 1. See details on the Doris Duke website.

B. UCSF Supplemental Application Requirements:

Complete the Supplemental Application formsee details.

  • Research Plan Title (should not exceed 255 characters, including spaces)
  • Research Plan Summary (should not exceed 250 words, or approximately 1/3 of a single spaced page)
  • Research Proposal (limited to 2,100 words or less or approximately three single-spaced pages. The plan should be divided into three sections: a) Research question, b) Background, and c) Study design) (You should work closely with your mentor on writing the research plan).
  • Research Plan Citations (should not exceed 700 words, or approximately one single-spaced page)

C. Mentor Endorsement:

The Mentor Endorsement form must be completed by the main proposed mentor of the project. This form ensures that the project needs mentees and that it has sufficient work for you to complete while working in country. In addition to the form, the mentor must upload an NIH-style biosketch.

Please note: No applicant interviews will be conducted.

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